The Dash

Hubby and I attended a funeral a few weeks back.

A fellow coach, father, husband, son, uncle, friend passed tragically in car accident.

33 years old.

He leaves two sons, age 8 and 5.

Heartbreaking.

A high school friend of his spoke at the memorial service. He had such wonderful words to say and also told a powerful story.

It was about the "Dash."

The friend worked for a mortuary in charge of headstones. He'd been writing out the orders for a tombstone inscription when someone looked over his shoulder and said, "you forgot the dash!"

He looked at his paper and saw the birthdate, then the deathdate. But, no dash.

"Thanks," he said, and thought...wow. That dash is the most important thing on the entire tombstone.

The most important thing about that person.

His life.

The friend then spoke of the deceased man's life. The way he touched so many people during that "dash." How he was such a great friend, honest man, loving husband and father. His "dash" was full of wonderful, amazing, admirable things.

The dates, whether they be a long or short period of time, it's that dash that means the most.

What will your dash say about you?

26 supporters in group:

  1. Beth said...

    I have a short book about the dash. It is powerful and a reminder of how to live your life.

    So sorry for the loss of your friend. His boys will forever be changed.

  2. He And Me + 3 said...

    Wow that is deep. I sure hope my dash tells shows people to Christ, & that it leaves me a good, moral, honest reputation.

  3. Martha (FL) said...

    We really do have to make the most of the dash, and live every day to the fullest!

  4. Tim said...

    I first heard the poem the dash many mnay years ago. Seems like not long ago it was going around on an email chain too. It is a very wonderful reminder of how we should live life to its fullest every single minute of every single day. Life is to short not to, just as your friend whos dash ended way to soon.

    Our prayers for you during your loss.

    Love and Prayers,

    Tim

  5. Lolli said...

    I am so sorry about your friend, particularly for his family. What an interesting thing to think about, though--the dash!

  6. Midwest Mommy said...

    I have heard something about the "dash" in an email before...it is so true. That dash holds everything.

  7. April said...

    I have really had that on my mind lately....especially after losing a dear friend to cancer......because we are not promised another day.......and the relationships we have are what's important.

  8. Tara R. said...

    So sorry to hear about your friend.

    That message, the dash, very powerful!

  9. Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

    Very good question. I hope only great things. In fact, I know only great things, because I try hard to make it so every single day! Thanks for reminding.

  10. Sandi said...

    I've heard that story before and I LOVE IT!

    Thanks for reminding me of it! It's so easy to get caught up in the rush of life and forget the most important things.

  11. Krystyn said...

    I love the "dash" idea. Our preacher recently preached on this topic. It is quite profound.

  12. shelley said...

    what a beautiful blog! it is the dash, and allll of the small stuff that makes our "life" what it becomes to speak of when we are gone! here's to making the MOST of that dash! happy monday!
    hugs,
    shelley

  13. Ranch Girl said...

    That's one of hubby's main ones he uses at funerals - it's pretty cool.

  14. Eyeglasses & Endzones said...

    We were talking about our "Dash" at church a few weeks ago. A very interesting and thought provoking post!

  15. Lori said...

    33. So tragic. You never know when it's going to be your time. Live every day as if it were your last.

  16. Tony@ That One Paticular Harbor said...

    So sad. we just do not know when our clock has run out. The Dash is one of the best stories ever.

  17. jill jill bo bill said...

    That is just the greatest story! What a great analogy!

  18. Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

    I am sorry to hear about your friend. This has been on my mind a lot lately. Life can be so so short and yet it is so easy to get caught up int he day to day and forget to truly live.

  19. Miranda said...

    That is really sad. It's definitely something to think about though. Like what memories do I want my family and my friends to have of me when my "dash" is over?

  20. Swirl Girl said...

    Makes us all hope our dash is a dash and not a minus sign.

  21. Dejoni said...

    Wow! What a great post...makes you think about what it's all about.

  22. Semi-Slacker Mom said...

    I'm kind of a local history buff & like looking at the old graves. It's so sad that all the future generations get to see on our headstones about our lives is the dash. And that's the most important part.

  23. Mel @ A Box of Chocolates said...

    I never thought of that before. This is what I love about blogging...the perspective. I hope my dash tells a story about a loving mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and teacher. I hope that my life makes the world a better place!

  24. Rachel said...

    I love the dash.

    I wrote about it when writing about Maddie and it's been spoken about at all the family memorial services we've been to in the last 5 years or so.

    Making the most of the dash is sooo important.

    So sad *hugs*

  25. wife.mom.nurse said...

    I'm so sorry to hear of this loss.

    That dash question...profound.

  26. Lindsay said...

    Wow is right.. it is really the most important part. I read the poem The Dash at my Grandmother's funeral this pas September. Go read it.. http://www.agentz.com/Inspirational/dash.html

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